Brown recaps 2017 political year

For the Sidney Daily News



WASHINGTON, D.C. — Over the last year, U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown worked with Republicans and Democrats to introduce more than 165 bipartisan bills – more than 60 of which he introduced with Senator Portman. Brown successfully sent five bipartisan bills to President Donald Trump’s desk to become law, and secured priorities for Ohio’s military bases in the defense bill the President signed into law in December. Last Congress, Medill ranked Brown 4th on the list of Senators who had passed the most laws – that’s because Senator Brown works with Republicans to get things done.

His office has released the following report:

Brown is the senior Senator from Ohio, having gained seniority on several of the Senate’s key committees where he has secured several wins for Ohioans. Brown is the ranking Democrat on the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee. He is also a member of the Senate Finance Committee, which oversees important issues like trade, healthcare, taxes and retirement. Brown also serves on the Senate Veterans’ Affairs and Agriculture Committees.

Here’s a look at Brown’s work on behalf of Ohio in 2017 and what’s ahead next year, including fighting for a five-year extension of the Children’s Health Insurance Program and securing the pensions of thousands of Ohio retirees.

Brown bills signed into law include:

• Bill to Keep fentanyl outof Ohio

• Bill to Expand opportunities for Ohio veterans

• Bill to support Ohio’s military bases, which includes:

§ Wright-Patterson Air Force Base’s Air Force Research Lab: Brown secured provisions to support jobs and research at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base’s Air Force Research Lab.

§ Lima’s Joint Systems Manufacturing Center: Brown secured nearly $2 billion make upgrades to the Abrams Tank and Stryker Brigade.

§ Toledo’s 180th Fighter Wing: Brown secured $15 million to make facility improvements for Toledo’s 180th Fighter Wing and install new hangars for F-16 aircraft needed to carry out the Aerospace Control Alert mission.

• Bill to hold North Korea, Russia, Iran accountable

• Bill to Hire veterans to fill law enforcement posts

• Bill to Create civil rights network at national parks

Serving Ohioans

Brown’s office is here to help Ohioans – whether it is seeking trade relief for Ohio companies, drawing investment and jobs to the state, or helping veterans get their medals. Brown’s office routinely works on behalf of Ohioans for help with federal agencies from the IRS to the VA.

Hearing from Ohioans

During Brown’s second term in the U.S. Senate, he has held more than 300 roundtables across Ohio and held public events in each of Ohio’s 88 counties. Brown and his office have also hosted the Ohio Women’s Leadership Summit and the Propel Ohio Collegiate Leadership Summit for three years running.

Getting Ohio students interested in manufacturing

For the fifth year in a row, Brown teamed up with local manufacturers, plants, community partners and schools to host 18 Summer Manufacturing Camps where young Ohioans learned about Ohio’s manufacturing sector. Campers visited local manufacturers, toured plants, and worked with their peers on hands-on projects specific to their communities. Brown’s office started organizing summer manufacturing camps in 2013, and since then, the number of camps throughout the state has grown every year. This year, Brown’s office helped organize 18 camps in 16 counties.

Securing Trade Relief for Ohio workers wronged by unfair trade

Brown has worked with Sen. Rob Portman to seek relief for Ohio workers at Whirlpool’s plant in Clyde, Ohio. The two both testified on behalf of the company at the International Trade Commission, requesting relief for workers at the plant who’d been hurt by unfairly traded washing machine imports. Following Brown’s call, ITC rule in favor of Ohio workers.

What’s ahead

This year, Brown intends to build on his work in 2017 to pass legislation to extend CHIP, secure Ohioans’ pensions, make work more valuable for Ohioans on the job, and rebuild the nation’s infrastructure. He’ll also continue efforts to work with President Trump to retool U.S. trade policy so it works better for working Ohioans, and continue his fight to protect Ohioans’ healthcare, and the Social Security and Medicare benefits they’ve paid into for years. Brown will also help write the next farm bill, from his position on the Agriculture Committee.

Protecting Ohioans’ healthcare

Brown spoke out time and again in 2017 against attempts to take away care from more than 900,000 Ohioans who got coverage through the Affordable Care Act.

Brown has offered specific legislation to make improvements to the Affordable Care Act including: legislation to add a public option to individual marketplaces so all consumers can access an affordable plan no matter where they live; legislation to repeal the so-called “Cadillac tax” on certain high-cost plans; legislation to repeal the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB) to prevent arbitrary cuts to Medicare; and legislation to fix a glitch in the law that prevents spouses or children from accessing subsidies to help get coverage in the exchange if one spouse gets employer coverage.

Brown has introduced a package of proposals to help bring down the cost of prescription drugs, including language he authored to increase access to biosimilar drugs and tax the windfall profits of drug companies when they drive up costs of drugs overnight. Brown’s bill has been described as “just about every policy idea drug lobbyists hate.” And that’s something he’s proud of.

Now, as Congressional Republicans have set their sights on so-called entitlement reform, Brown will lead efforts in the Senate to protect the Medicare and Social Security Ohioans have paid into for years.

Writing the 2018 Farm Bill

In 2014, Brown was part of the Farm Bill Conference Committee that successfully negotiated a five-year farm bill, helping secure key provisions for Ohio farmers. Over the summer, Brown kicked off a series of discussions with Ohio farmers and stakeholders to get input as helps write the 2018 Farm Bill. Brown is the first Ohioan to serve on the Senate Agriculture Committee in nearly 50 years.


For the Sidney Daily News